Mona Al Marri, vice president of the UAE Gender Balance Council Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Dubai stock market rang the bell on Thursday to raise awareness on women empowerment and gender equality in the private sector.

For the second consecutive year, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) joined 70 stock exchanges around the world in hosting the ceremony to mark the occasion of International Women’s Day, which is celebrated every March 8.

Leading the bell ringing activity in Dubai was Mona Al Marri, vice president of the UAE Gender Balance Council.

It’s held in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Stocks Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, the World Federation of Exchanges, International Finance Corporation, UN Global Impact, UN women and Women in ETFs.

Essa Kazim, chairman of DFM, attended the ceremony along with DFM’s senior management, as well as representatives of numerous capital markets institutions.

According to Kazim, the DFM has accelerated over the past years its efforts to empower women and strengthen gender equality in collaboration with various institutions.

“The DFM is among leading exchanges that have joined the [UN SSE) initiative since 2016. We have also contributed to the Sustainable Development Report 2018,” he said.

“Today, we are pleased to host the gender equality bell ringing ceremony for International Women’s Day alongside 70 exchanges globally. We look forward to seeing these efforts gaining further momentum supported by the strategic partnership between DFM and DWE (Dubai Women Establishment) in order to realise the leadership’s vision and national goals pertaining to gender balance and empowering women.”

Al Marri highlighted that the initiative supports the council’s and the DWE’s strategic goals to promote the vital role of Emirati women in shaping the economic and social landscape of Dubai and the UAE.

DWE aims to increase female participation across various sectors by building partnerships with private and public entities that support the role of women.

She said the results of the initiative are already looking positive, with female representation in federal government leadership positions increasing to 17 per cent in 2018. Within the companies listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the number rose to four per cent in 2017.

She hopes the numbers will continue to grow, especially with the increasing awareness of the vital role women play in the national economy, as well as in achieving national goals, underscoring their importance as key partners in development.

She stressed that the rise of women in leadership positions also enhances the country’s ranking in global indicators in gender balance.

“We are in constant contact with [the] Dubai Financial Market and public shareholding companies to support this initiative. This is in line with global examples that demonstrate that the presence of women in leadership positions positively impacts the performance of companies,” she said.

“We have compiled a database of women leaders which is constantly being updated. Furthermore, whenever a company wants to appoint women in their governing bodies, we announce this through various media channels.”